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No ill motive behind transfer of judges- Judicial Service explains

The Judicial Service has debunked claims that the transfer of two High Court judges was done with ill motive.

It said the move was the exercise of the Chief Justice’s legitimate administrative powers to re-assign the two judges—Justice Charles A. Wilson and Justice Douglas Seidu-to address pressing administrative challenges.

A statement signed and issued by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Cynthia Pamela A. Addo, said the Chief Justice by a letter dated December 10, 2020, transferred Justice Wilson from the High Court, Tamale, where there were currently three judges, to the High Court, Bolgatanga, which has two courts but only one judge.

Justice Wilson’s transfer was to take effect from January 6, 2021, when the Christmas vacation would have ended and was directed to start work on January 11, 2021, until his release to return to Tamale, which is his station.

In the case of Justice Seidu, the statement explained that “his posting to Bolgatanga upon his appointment was curtailed because of his previous practice as a lawyer in that town. It is this situation that necessitated Justice Wilson’s transfer to Bolgatanga to fill the vacuum, until such a time that a permanent replacement is made.”

The Judicial Service statement follows speculations on social media and media reports that the judges were being reassigned because of likely parliamentary election litigation that could come before them.

While the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has given indications that it would challenge the Zabzugu and Tatale parliamentary election results which went in favour of the New Patriotic Party, the ruling party has also hinted that it will also head to court to seek to overturn the Savelugu parliamentary result the NDC won.

The social media commentary and media reports sought to suggest that the transfer of the judges was meant to benefit the ruling party.

But the Judicial Service insisted that the decision was purely an exercise of the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah’s administrative powers to address “pressing administration challenge undermining the efficient delivery of justice in the Region.”

The statement noted the executive of the Ghana Bar Association in the region was aware of the pressing administrative challenge.

“As of now, no warrant whatsoever has been issued for Justice Seidu to sit in Tamale from his station at Sunyani.

“Again, it is to be noted that the Chief Justice has administrative powers to issue warrants to judges to sit and determine on any day, urgent matters that have been placed before the courts.

“It is, therefore, regrettable that the implementation of these measures intended to promote the smooth administration of justice has been misconstrued by some section of the media.

“The Judicial Service wishes to assure the public of its commitment to uphold the law at all times in the discharge of its mandate,” it said.

 

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